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UPDATE: Nine at dental practice charged in fraud probe

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A Medicaid fraud investigation led prosecutors to file several charges Wednesday against the owner of an Anderson dental practice and eight of her employees.

Sally Metzner, 57, owner of the Anderson Dental Center, faces several charges including Medicaid fraud, theft, money laundering and forgery in Madison Circuit Court. Three dentists face charges of Medicaid fraud, theft, money laundering and corrupt business influence, and five other employees face charges including forgery and prescription drug fraud.

The charges allege Metzner and her employees engaged in a scheme to submit false and inflated claims for payment of dental services to the Indiana Medicaid program, sometimes using forged documents, to receive more than $300,000 in ineligible Medicaid payments, according to the Indiana Attorney General's Office. The scheme began in 2006, it said.

"These defendants defrauded Medicaid so brazenly and repeatedly in operating their practice that it cannot be attributed to mistake or paperwork errors," Attorney General Zoeller said in a statement.

The allegedly fraudulent billing continued even after state, federal and local authorities had executed the first of three search warrants at the clinic, the attorney general's office said.

For example, instead of billing Medicaid $30 for the routine use of the anesthesia nitrous oxide, the practice allegedly billed it as a $125 intravenous procedure known as "deep sedation," according to a probable cause affidavit from Diane Hedges of the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The State Board of Dentistry issued a Dec. 6 order against Metzner prohibiting her from engaging in the unlicensed practice of dentistry and ordering her to stop dental services at the practice.

A message seeking comment was left at the Anderson Dental Center.

In a separate case arising from the same joint investigation, Metzner is due to be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to income tax evasion for an unpaid tax of more than $856,000, the attorney general's office said.

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